Ethiopia warns it will not wait eternally over Nile dam dispute

CAIRO — Amid the stalled negotiations on Ethiopia’s controversial dam it’s constructing on the Blue Nile, the primary tributary of the Nile River, current Ethiopian remarks have escalated the dispute with Egypt and Sudan. 

In an interview with Al Arabiya TV channel Feb. 12, Ethiopian Overseas Minister Redwan Hussein referred to as on Sudan and Egypt to not follow their place on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), noting, “The Ethiopians can not wait eternally. We anticipate the inexperienced gentle to make use of our assets.”

He mentioned, “Egypt ought to encourage Ethiopia to complete constructing the GERD rapidly as a result of we should cooperate collectively in making the most of our assets, even throughout droughts.”

Hussein famous, “We now have knowledgeable the Sudanese that we’re able to trade information repeatedly to satisfy their issues over the safety of their smaller dams, however their place now serves the pursuits of a 3rd social gathering, not theirs.”

He continued, “Ethiopia offered extra alternatives for Egypt and Sudan to learn from the dam, regardless of their failure to understand it.” 

He harassed that Ethiopia will use its assets with out inflicting any hurt to the downstream nations and that the dam is a venture of cooperation and regional integration.

Mona Omar, former assistant to the overseas minister for African affairs, advised Al-Monitor, “Hussein’s statements are an try and drive a wedge between Egypt and Sudan, and they’re a continuation of the torrent of Ethiopian statements relating to the GERD, at a time when Egyptian officers are reluctant to make comparable statements.”

She mentioned, “Such statements purpose to distract public opinion from what is going on inside Ethiopia. It is just pure for Egypt to demand the passage of water even in intervals of drought, particularly because the nation is now beneath the water poverty line.”

Omar famous, “Coinciding with Senegal’s assumption of the presidency of the African Union and the anticipation surrounding the position it’s prone to play in sponsoring new negotiations on the GERD — along with talks about the potential for Djibouti mediating to discover a method out of the disaster — Ethiopia is making an attempt to exert stress by launching rumors about Egypt wanting to learn by itself from the dam’s waters and never caring concerning the improvement that Ethiopia seeks to realize.”

She added, “There is no such thing as a resolution besides by negotiation, and customary floor have to be reached by a great mediator.” She mentioned Senegal is a powerful nation with affect on the African continent, is revered by everybody and might play this position, as long as all events present goodwill.

Regardless of the stalemate within the GERD negotiations since April 2021, Egypt has at all times harassed its keenness to achieve a binding legal agreement on managing and working the dam.

Ayman Abdel Wahab, deputy director of Al-Ahram Heart for Political and Strategic Research, advised Al-Monitor, “Hussein’s statements included three inaccuracies. The primary is viewing Sudan as a rustic that doesn’t know its curiosity as if Ethiopia is a guardian that may decide its [Sudan’s] pursuits and threats, whereas the Ethiopian place was intransigent with regard to coordinating with Sudan and offering it with information on filling the dam.”

He mentioned, “The second inaccuracy is said to the Ethiopian description of Egypt’s view of the GERD as if the dam doesn’t signify an express risk to Egypt’s water safety and subsequently its nationwide safety. The proof for that is the exaggeration within the quantity of water saved within the GERD, which exceeds its capability, and Ethiopia’s must generate electrical energy, which makes the safety of the dam questionable in gentle of the technical points it’s dealing with.”

Egypt, which suffers from water shortage, views the GERD as an existential threat that may scale back its water share of the Nile, and Sudan shares the identical issues, whereas Ethiopia considers it a supply for attaining improvement by electrical energy era.

Abdel Wahab famous, “The third inaccuracy is that Ethiopia didn’t negotiate significantly and didn’t look ahead to a binding settlement to be reached. All it did over the previous 11 years is mere procrastination to achieve time and impose a fait accompli, which is evidenced by its initiation of the primary and second filling with out coordinating with the opposite events. In the meantime, Egypt has proven vital flexibility.”

He defined, “Addis Ababa didn’t take the negotiations significantly. The GERD’s goal is under no circumstances cooperative or developmental because it claims. Ethiopia is slightly utilizing it to maximise its pursuits on the expense of Egyptian water safety, because it additionally seeks to impose a brand new fait accompli to be the one to resolve when and the way a lot water the downstream nations get.”

On July 19, 2021, Ethiopia introduced the completion of the second filling of the dam’s reservoir with out an settlement with Egypt and Sudan. On Sept. 9, 2021, the Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Power Seleshi Bekele introduced that his nation plans to generate electricity from the GERD generators by the Ethiopian New 12 months, on Sept. 11.

Abdel Wahab identified, “The Ethiopian statements try to carry Egypt and Sudan chargeable for obstructing the negotiations, to win over the general public opinion, particularly after the civil struggle [with the Tigray] that significantly broken the picture of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The GERD is thus Ethiopia’s successful card on which Ahmed is betting to enhance his picture internally and externally by exhibiting a sort of false flexibility.”

In the meantime, Heba al-Bashbeshi, researcher on the Institute of African Research at Cairo College, advised Al-Monitor that Hussein’s statements provoked the folks and the political management in Egypt. “Cairo has a proper to the waters that Addis Ababa is holding on the GERD,” she mentioned.

She famous, “Ethiopia didn’t give different events any alternatives. It has refused to share any details about the dam, the best way it was constructed or the security components inside it, particularly since many specialists have warned concerning the GERD’s technical issues.”

Bashbeshi famous that Addis Ababa seeks to boost the GERD difficulty within the media to be able to help the continuation of Ahmed’s regime, which she claims has misplaced its legitimacy.

She harassed the necessity for Egypt to take care of its place by adhering to a authorized settlement and ignoring Ethiopian statements.

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